Ten of the amendments were successfully ratified by the requisite 75 percent of the states and became known as the Bill of Rights. We do not receive any government funding.
Politics and public opinion matter too. Even from the start, the idea of a group devoted to defending liberty the right of each person to be free from the despotism of governments or majorities made some observers angry.
Mencken deliberately broke Boston law by distributing copies of his banned American Mercury magazine; the ACLU defended him and won an acquittal.
In these areas, its goal is both to defend existing liberties and to expand them into quarters where they are not generally enjoyed. The ACLU championed such Palmer targets as politically radical immigrants and supported the right of Industrial Workers of the World members and other trade unionists to hold meetings and organize.
Liberals often—though not always—applauded the effort and the result.